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Vitamin D testing may be particularly important for older individuals, as a new European study has found that a deficiency of the nutrient can lead to metabolic syndrome - a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, abdominal obesity and high cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Researchers at the University Medical Center in Amsterdam examined the blood of nearly 1,300 participants. They found that 48 percent of individuals who had vitamin D deficiency also had metabolic syndrome.
Marelise Eekhoff, who led the investigation, said that finding ways of preventing the syndrome is important because it significantly increases the chances of potentially deadly conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
"It is important to investigate the exact role of vitamin D in diabetes to find new and maybe easy ways to prevent it and cardiovascular disease," she said. "An adequate vitamin D level in the body might be important in the prevention of these diseases."
The study also noted that vitamin D deficiency was associated with low levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, and a large waistline.
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